Peter Stoner

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Peter Stoner (June 16, 1888 – March 21, 1980)[1][2] was Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College until 1953; Chairman of the science division, Westmont College, 1953–57; Professor Emeritus of Science, Westmont College; Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Astronomy, Pasadena City College.

Stoner is probably best known for his book Science Speaks that discusses, among other things, Bible prophecies vis a vis probability estimates and calculations.[3] The work is often cited in the field of Christian apologetics in regard to Bible prophecy. Professor Stoner's book became widely known when it was mentioned by Josh McDowell in his 1972 book Evidence that Demands a Verdict (revised as New Evidence that Demands a Verdict).[4]

American Scientific Affiliation[edit]

Peter Stoner was a co-founder[5] of the American Scientific Affiliation, a Christian organization that describes itself as "a fellowship of men and women in science and disciplines that relate to science who share a common fidelity to the Word of God and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science." The foreword to Stoner's Science Speaks includes a partial endorsement from this body (covering the book's scientific content and prophecy probability calculations, but not addressing issues of Biblical exegesis or historical accuracy): they considered it "...in general, to be dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented" and the probability material presented in regard to prophecy.[6] While the ASA includes members with a diverse range of attitudes towards science[7] (theistic evolutionists, Intelligent Design advocates, Old-Earth creationists and Young-Earth creationists), Stoner himself was apparently an Old-Earth creationist.[8]

Criticism[edit]

C. P. Swanson, reviewing Science Speaks in The Quarterly Review of Biology, wrote: "...the author has fallen into the commonest error of using only these facts which bolster his hypothesis, and of discarding or controverting those which do not. For example, his discussion of the theory of evolution is not only misleading; it displays an abysmal ignorance of recent evolutionary studies."[9]

Various critics have taken issue with Stoner's interpretation of prophecy.[10][11] Stoner's apologetic work did not receive critical attention until its inclusion in Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict[citation needed]and criticism of these claims tends to be addressed to McDowell rather than Stoner, with Stoner's name mentioned in passing. These criticisms against McDowell, Stoner and others include historical errors, claims regarding after-the-event authorship and/or tampering with Biblical prophecies, and disputed meanings of certain Biblical phrases.

Others who disagree with specific claims made by Stoner include fellow Christians and secular historians: for instance, while Stoner says of Ezekiel's prophecy of the permanent destruction of Tyre "If Ezekiel had looked at Tyre in his day and had made these seven predictions in human wisdom, these estimates mean that there would have been only one chance in 75,000,000 of their all coming true. They all came true in the minutest detail", others claim that "the problem is that very little of this actually came to pass! In fact, it badly missed how history actually unfolded"[12] and "The location of the city of Tyre is not in doubt, for it exists to this day on the same spot and is known as Sur."[13] However, it could still be argued that the boundaries of the ancient mainland city may have fallen within areas of the modern city not rebuilt in the present day.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anon (November 2005). "Author and publisher information". Science Speaks. by Peter W. Stoner, revised and HTML formatted by Don W. Stoner. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  2. ^ Anon (June–July 1980). "Peter Stoner Dies at 92". Newsletter of the American Scientific Affiliation and Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation 22 (3). Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  3. ^ Peter W. Stoner (November 2005). "Prophetic Accuracy". Science Speaks. revised and HTML formatted by Don W. Stoner. ISBN 0-8024-7630-9. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  4. ^ Josh McDowell (1979) [1972]. Evidence that Demands a Verdict. San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers. index, p. 377, s.v. "Stoner, Peter W.". ISBN 0-918956-46-3. 
  5. ^ Irwin A. Moon; F. Alton Everest and Will H. Houghton (December 1991). "Early Links Between the Moody Bible Institute and the American Scientific Affiliation". Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 43: 249–258. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  6. ^ H. Harold Hartzler (November 2005). "Foreword". Science Speaks. by Peter W. Stoner, revised and HTML formatted by Don W. Stoner. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  7. ^ American Scientific Affiliation Commission on Creation (August 2000). "Commission on Creation". Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  8. ^ Peter W. Stoner (November 2005). "Scientific Problems Discussed". Science Speaks. revised and HTML formatted by Don W. Stoner. ISBN 0-8024-7630-9. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  9. ^ C. P. Swanson (1953). "Science Speaks. An Evaluation of Certain Christian Evidences. By Peter W. Stoner.". The Quarterly Review of Biology 28 (4): 408–409. doi:10.1086/399872. 
  10. ^ Steven Carr. "Critique of Josh McDowell's Non-Messianic Prophecies". The Secular Web Library. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  11. ^ Jim Lippard (2004). "The Fabulous Prophecies of the Messiah". The Secular Web Library. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  12. ^ Dennis Bratcher (2006-07-13). "Ezekiel and the Oracles against Tyre". The Voice. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  13. ^ H. Jacob Katzenstein (1973). The History of Tyre: From the Beginning of the Second Millennium B.C.E. until the Fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 538 B.C.E. Jerusalem: Schocken Institute for Jewish Research of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. p. 9. 
  14. ^ Peter W. Stoner. "Prophetic Accuracy". Science Speaks. revised and HTML formatted by Don W. Stoner. ISBN 0-8024-7630-9. 

External links[edit]